Paul A. Eisenstein at The Detroit Bureau writes »

Less than a week after federal regulators announced they were eliminating the waiver allowing California to set its own greenhouse gas emissions, the head of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday threatened to pull federal highway funds because of the state’s air quality problems.

In a letter sent to the head of the California Air Resource Board, or CARB, on Tuesday, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler declared that California “has failed to carry out its most basic tasks under the Clean Air Act,” and thus suffers from “the worst air quality in the United States.” As a result, it could lose as much as $4 billion in highway funding during the coming fiscal year.

The letter escalated tensions between Washington and Sacramento and, in light of the move last week to block California from enforcing vehicle fuel economy and emissions rules that were set to be tougher than those at the federal level, it set off Trump Administration critics, notably including Senator Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat, who accused the White House of engaging in “the height of hypocrisy.”

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